Singers are the lifeblood of the choral field. Ensembles from coast to coast are anchored by veterans of school and youth choral programs who found the experience rewarding enough that they continued through adulthood. But as choral leaders know all too well, many choristers can’t or don’t stick with it; they drop out of choral singing when they hit significant life transitions.
When Susan McMane was in high school, she probably spent about as much time chanting “two, four, six, eight” as she did singing “do, re, mi.”
A growing number of singers are knitting together careers by traveling from city to city to perform with professional choral ensembles. Here’s how this model works for them – and how it impacts the choral field.
Vijay Gupta is both a violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a dedicated advocate for the power of music to change lives and reconnect us to our shared humanity. In 2011, he founded Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging musicians in performance and dialogue with marginalized communities of people experiencing poverty, homelessness and incarceration.
In the last decade of the 20th century, the composer Morten Lauridsen wrote a series of pieces while serving a residency for the Los Angeles Master Chorale that have had a lasting and international impact. This year the choral world celebrates the 20th anniversary of the largest of these milestones, Lux Aeterna. What has given the Lauridsen aesthetic its power to connect and attract? And why does it continue to move performers, composers, and listeners?
Jean Davidson does not have the background of a typical choral administrator. The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) president and CEO took the job—her first in the choral community—after working in theater, contemporary dance, and instrumental music, where she served as the founding managing director of the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma.
Do you look forward to your board meetings? I didn’t think so. I go to board meetings several times a week, and most of them make me sad. The main reason? The typical meeting structure offers little opportunity for board members to LEAD.
Is this growing trend a gimmick? Or a glimpse of the future?
This month's 'Meet A Member' celebrates Music In Our Schools Month, which engages communities from around the country in promoting the benefits of high quality music education programs in schools.
Choosing the right primary teacher at college or conservatory is one of the most important decisions a music student will make in their musical career, according to Deborah Simpkin King. A conductor and educator, King is artistic director and founder of Schola Cantorum on Hudson and its Conducting and Choral Scholar programs. Her tips on finding the perfect fit with a teacher for undergraduate or graduate studies are a great resource to share with young conductors and singers.
When you stop to think about the ways people sing together, the diversity is breathtaking. Just a partial list includes community, school, collegiate, and church choruses, as well as gospel choirs, barbershop groups, contemporary a cappella ensembles, men’s choruses, and special mission groups like threshold choirs.
Choral conductor Robert Shafer reflects on his many experiences over the span of his 50 years in the Washington, DC choral community with choral singer and writer Michael Doan.